Qatar, who will be the VM host in 2022, has received strong criticism internationally for not respecting human rights. Riski has no intention of playing the friendship tournament in the country.
– I got an invitation and I talked to the national team manager. My decision was made on the basis of ethical assessments and reasons, and I will stick to them, says the Finnish national team player for the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
Finland plays against Sweden in Doha on Tuesday evening. National team manager Markku Kanerva has defended the participation in the Qatar tour with the fact that it is primarily about getting two good matches, but says he respects Riski’s decision and reasoning.
Iceland and Estonia will also be playing matches in Qatar next week. The Norwegian Football Association has representatives in Qatar as part of a Nordic visit to the country, but has refused to play matches there.
According to the Swedish news agency TT, over a thousand foreign workers have so far lost their lives in connection with the construction of World Cup arenas in Qatar.